Officials stated the old Doppler radar has been in use since 1994. With recent December tornadoes, the National Weather Service said it is time for improvements.
With the old radar, meteorologists were only able to see things in one dimension with a horizontal signal. By adding a vertical signal, meteorologists can see three dimensional objects such as rain, hail, snow and even debris.
"Instead of having a person in the field confirming the tornado, of course we still need someone out in the field, with dual polar radar we can actually now see the debris being picked up by the tornado which often times,most of the time actually indicated a confirmed tornado," said Local 15's Chief Meteorologist Derek Beasley.
With a better view, Beasley said he will be able to alert viewers about severe weather quicker.
"It gives us more time to get the warning out to give more people time to get to shelter, and do what they need to do to keep them and their families safe," stated Beasley.
Officials estimate the new radar can save the nation $700 million in storm damage. The National Weather Service said the $250,000 upgrade will not only save millions of dollars in damage but save lives.